Morning Read: Adirondack Council keeping mum about APA favorites

Jon Alexander is reporting in the Glens Falls Post Star about the political maneuvering that is likely to shape Governor Andrew Cuomo’s picks for the Adirondack Park Agency board.

One interesting detail in the report is that the Adirondack Council, a pro-environment group, says it will now keep mum about who it favors for the commission.

After failing last year to get [Adirondack boatbuilder and environmental activist Peter] Hornbeck through Senate confirmation, the council’s officials are keeping the names of those they’d like to see on the APA board quiet.

“We used to publicize it but we’ve decided that it doesn’t help those on the list so much,” Sheehan said.

“If it was a Democratic governor and Democratic Senate, we wouldn’t have to go to these lengths to keep it quiet.”

As Jon notes, this will be state Senator Betty Little’s biggest opportunity to reshape the APA commission, with five seats up for grabs.

As a member of the Environmental Conservation Committee, she serves as a kind of gatekeeper for appointees, who need Senate confirmation.

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12 Comments on “Morning Read: Adirondack Council keeping mum about APA favorites”

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  1. Pete Klein says:

    Really, who cares?
    The APA is a mostly useless paper tiger.
    I vote to get rid of it and place the entire burden of regulation upon the towns.

  2. dave says:

    Smart move. The sky is falling crowd would begin to smear these candidates early and often… no matter what their qualifications.

    If the Council approves, I disapprove! That is essentially the starting point for some in this conversation, which doesn’t say a lot about our ability to have intelligent, democratic discussion.

    Matters not if you are a businessman who has dedicated your life to the Park. If you have shown any concern for the Adirondack environment, you are going to get labelled.

  3. Bret4207 says:

    “We used to publicize it but we’ve decided that it doesn’t help those on the list so much,” Sheehan said.

    “If it was a Democratic governor and Democratic Senate, we wouldn’t have to go to these lengths to keep it quiet.”

    Kind of lets you know just where they stand, eh? Unbiased and fair…

  4. dave says:

    I can see how an outsider to the issue might interpret those statements the way you did Bret. But someone who has followed the issues over the past few years should know that this is a reaction to political reality.

    Recent history is very clear on this subject. One party in this region has become extremely hostile to all things “environment”. At the moment, honest conversation and debate about these topics are almost impossible. ANY person a group like this supports, no matter their actual qualifications or background, will not only be opposed by the other side… but smeared over the endorsement.

  5. Walt says:

    The days of Adirondack Council and the other enviro bullies stacking the APA are over! They have pushed the local governments and residents of the park to far by promoting their selfish, elitist agenda through rhetoric and double speak and now they are getting their day in court. The real working people of the park have been awakened and are saying enough is enough. When the dust settles their inside man Curt Stiles will be gone and we will begin the work of making the Adirondacks accessible to all of the peopel instead of just a select few!

  6. Bret4207 says:

    But Dave, shouldn’t the public, especially park residents, be able to have a say in who the Gov chooses? If the AC submits the recommendation of someone that is unpalatable to the Park residents and others, shouldn’t that matter? Or is this more elitist “We know best” garbage?

    BTW- I spent the first 40some years of my life living within the Blue Line. I’m hardly and “outsider”. It was the radical environmental movement and Mario Cuomos “21st Century Bond Act” that drove me out of the Park.

  7. RationalandLogical says:

    “one party has become hostile to all things environmental”….I can understand why this is the perception but this outlook of towards environmentalists and environmental groups has not come without good reason. The dialogue has for too long been controlled by environmentalists and at various times in fairly radical and extreme ways. The communities and the representatives of year-round residents are rightly starting to push back as balance needs to be restored. Community and economic development issues need to become genuine and real considerations just not window dressing during the last 5 minutes of a permit review. Such balance will come when the ideology of the Commission is balanced.

  8. Paul says:

    A lobbying group that doesn’t want to lobby! What is going on with the world?

    If they are not going to try and influence who half the folks are that will be making zoning decisions in the Adirondacks then they must feel that they are losing their relevance. I guess maybe they feel that other groups will do a better job advocating for their cause? You can be sure that property rights activists and developers will continue to lobby on the issues. What gives?

  9. Paul says:

    “”If it was a Democratic governor and Democratic Senate, we wouldn’t have to go to these lengths to keep it quiet.””

    What does this mean?

  10. Bret4207 says:

    They aren’t aware that Cuomo is a Democrat apparently.

  11. JackP says:

    The Adirondack Council’s tarnished reputation wouldn’t help potential Commissioner candidates. They have been ‘outed’! Example:
    May 3,2010 Post Star:
    ‘Robert Flacke of Lake George served as the chairman of the APA board in the 1970s until, at the end of the decade, he was named commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
    Flacke believes the APA should balance environmental concerns with the property rights concerns of Adirondackers, but doesn’t.
    “I believe the APA should have a strong environmental constituency and I believe the APA should have a strong Adirondack advocacy group that opposes them.
    “I believe they should operate openly and honestly, and they don’t,” he said. Flacke said the APA board is “packed with zealots” put in place through political pressure from environmental groups.
    “The real zealot in the APA is the environmental groups themselves,” he said. “The most villainous of all of them is the Adirondack Council. They pressure the governor’s office into making appointments that are obscene.”
    Three current APA commissioners – including the board chairman, Curt Stiles – are former Adirondack Council officials.
    “The Adirondack Council has a propensity to lie to get everything they want,” Flacke said.’

  12. Pete Klein says:

    Actually, there is good reason to doubt the current Governor Cuomo is a Democrat.
    He seems to love the rich but hate the middle class and the poor. The same might be said of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board.
    By the way, if the people should have a vote on who the APA Commissioners are, shouldn’t they also get to vote on who is on the Review Board?

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